The other day I was at the Charles De Gaulle International airport, heading for ground transportation to take me back into the city.
I walked quickly because I had a tight schedule to make it back in time for the service that night. Up ahead I saw a crowd and I groaned a bit inwardly. “I hope I don’t have to go through all that to get to the train.”
As I reached the back of the pack, I saw that the police had stopped them and then I heard, “Boom!” I started looking around for a hiding place because I remembered that when there is a terrorist attack there are sometimes two bombs, one exploding after the other.
It turned out that the police had blown up a bag someone had left lying around. Some fellow’s got some big holes in his underwear and socks now, I imagine.
But, for a moment, after that explosion, I was transported from one world into another.
Let me explain. I’m like you. I watch all these exciting things on television: terrorist bombs, floods, and building collapses and my emotions let me participate. To a point.
When I heard that blast, though, I thought I had passed from the video game, Hollywood- movie world into reality. Hollywood emotion is fun because it can’t hurt you. Yet, several minutes after I heard that explosion I was still a bit shaken, even after I knew it wasn’t a terrorist attack.
Sometimes It’s War And We Act Like It’s a Video Game
I suspect a lot of us are like that about spiritual warfare. We read: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Eph. 6:10-12, NIV)
And we think about Iron Man or the Avengers.
When I look around this world and see the hurt and brokenness, I’ve got to think this is more than a comic-book battle. This is for real folks. A lot of the hurts we experience, along with our family and friends spring from this battle.
Maybe we should take Paul’s advice seriously. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Eph. 6:13-18, NIV)
Don’t wait until a spiritual explosion rattles your cage. You better get ready.
“The fear certainly helps you do it better. The fear-less one might sleep better, but sleeping well doesn’t always lead to your best work. The fear can be your compass, it can set you on the right path and actually improve the quality of what you do. Listen to your fear but don’t obey it.” Seth Godin